Is a person's dance a good indicator of their character?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by xstasy, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. xstasy

    xstasy New Member

    Is a person's dance form a good indicator of their character?

    On Saturday I attended a non-salsa wedding. Upon hearing a poor but popular salsa I desperately scanned the other tables looking for anyone who may have the slightest salsa spirit. I noticed one gentleman bopping to the beat (we'll call him BeatBopper or BB.) Eventually, I resorted to asking the DJ to dance since he had previously mentioned knowing a little salsa. He was actually pretty good though I prefer mambo on2 and he danced on1. BB noticed me dancing & asked me to dance the next salsa which came too many songs later. I was so happy to dance to my music... yet so disappointed by the end. BB was one of those guys who is so damn flashy & into himslef that I'm shocked he was still in front of me by the end of the song & not in front of the glass doors that reflected the image from which he could not tear his eyes away- his own. He was only concerned with how he looked & whether he had covered all the solo shines he knew. I was tossed, dragged, flung & to give his performance a grand finale, he triple spun me into a sudden dip :shock: . The onlookers applauded, I was disgusted (yet like a lady I bowed & smiled) and made it a point not to dance with him again.

    Later in the evening, BB invited himslef to sit next to me and continued his dance routine with me only verbally this time. He was the arrogant, full of himself show-off he was on the dance floor. Ceaselessly talking about himself. I threw the existence of a boyfriend in my life into the conversation and he had the audacity to ask if I were happy in the relationship- that should say enough about a guy. I could not help but laugh out loud :lol: , dismiss his comment & swiftly excuse myself escaping to the refuge of a strong drink & much better conversation with the bartender.

    I barely get to know men with whom I dance, but from just a few experiences, I realize that dancing is just like engaging in a conversation. You communicate who & how you are in your movements, style, attention to your partner, eye contact, etc.

    My regular dance partner gets lost in the dance and not in himself. Although, sometimes he gets so absorbed in the song he may not notice new moves I attempt to show off to him-lol! Nontheless, I'd much rather have someone lost in the song than in themselves, totally disregarding the person with whom they are sharing those oh so few minutes.
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    This is a great topic, xstasy. I can't believe no one has replied yet, so let me get the ball rolling. I believe you can learn a lot about a person's personality and character through the way they dance. You can see people who are shy, confident, arrogant, fun, worried, stressed. You name it. everything shows when you're on the dance floor. And the way you treat other dancers says a lot about your character, good or bad.
  3. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I'd have to say that the girls should lift their arm in search of styling during the 4 and the 5 in hopes to give them a good knock-out punch. Sorry, dude, I'm so sorry, can you spin me again? :lol:

    Is it me or does it seem like all the insecure individuals are the ones who seem to want to impress the world along with the mirror when they dance?

    Personalities definitely come out in the dance. I find it a sight of awe the different behaviors different persons display during the same event. Absolutely fascinating.
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    A person's dance form is a good indication of their character!! Even those emotionless ones whom you dance with. (It says something about them.) I find that sometimes I find out more about a person then if I simply met them off the dance floor. :)
  5. brujo

    brujo New Member

    I disagree.

    Everyone thinks that your dancing is a good indication of your character, so it just becomes something that is rehearsed. Like your shines and your styling, a lot of teachers keep saying 'attitude, attitude'. So the students go and rehearse and try to be the person they want to be. The same eyes, the same fake smile, blah...

    A salsero's true personality only comes out when they are really interested in the person they are dancing with. When dancing with an older woman or someone who you are already familiar with, you still go back to the same old routine that you do with everyone else, you don't try to do things that are memorable, fun, or interesting.

    A better measure would be the way the person approaches a cha-cha or a merengue song, where the constant 24/7 salsa robot is asleep and they are forced to improvise.
  6. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I think in most cases this is true. The more dancers I get to know on a personal basis the more I find their style on the floor mimics their personality.
  7. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    I think dance, like other art forms, is an outward expression
    of what's inside of you.

    That's why we have art, to express things that cannot be
    put into words.

    The art form does not discriminate from the negative or
    the positive, it just expresses what's there to begin with.
  8. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I don't think you can tell much about a person by WATCHING them dance. Like Brujo said, people can put on an act for those watching. However I am firm believer that you can tell alot about a person by dancing with them. I can usually tell whether a woman I am dancing with is uptight and a control freak, or flexible and relaxed, by dancing with her. Alot of little things can't be hidden from your dance partner but are not seen by others.
  9. aflairwithdance

    aflairwithdance New Member

    Musicality and Personality

    I have not had the chance to get into Salsa to any great extent, but know that hundreds of people have commented on my smoothness and my styling when dancing Ballroom, Folk or Country. These people have ranged from Professionals to the average guy down at the local Legion Hall.

    My good fortune in learning old time pattern dancing (also known as English Country Dancing in some places) from seven older ladies when I was in my mid-thirties has been a great source of comfort and inspiration... I still hear them coaching me in my head about my frame and my length of stride, my attention to where I was in relation to other dance couples, and most importantly my absolute duty to keep my lady safe from harm at any cost.

    When I stumbled into a dance hall that was doing mostly ballroom and latin dances a few years later I was hooked... my folk dancing was nearly perfected and I needed more challenge. In a very short period of time I had the pleasure of meeting some very talented instructors in Calgary who gave me more in a few minutes each day than they may ever know.

    I went on to the country two-step craze in the early 90's and the American Style ballroom dancing that I tried to introduce into this dancing was at first mocked and ridiculed, but over the years it has been adopted as standard (without much input from me) rather than the awful contrived moves that first came out.

    Now I am concentrating on International Ballroom and loving it and I am getting even more and more compliments from even more varied people. My reply is always one of gratitude and I usually spread the thanks to include my partner at the moment and my Creator for giving me my talent and perseverance.

    Many times I compliment other dancers whom I admire, some truly amatuer, but with great heart and enthusiasm for the dance. I have always found that you can tell more from the way they accept a compliment than from their dancing.

    I am a smooth dancer and usually very confident... and often a show-off. But more often I get lost in the music and my follower and live in that wonderful collection of musical notes punctuated by silence to make up the dance tune. And it is when I am lost in the music like this, when my personality blends with the moment, that I am blessed with others offerings of praise. Then I am humbled, because I know it had nothing to do with me...

    And when I purposely show off I quite often lose out.

    The woman I am dancing with always wins, however, because she gets shown off the most, because without her, I would definitely look stupid out there on my own.
  10. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Definitely!!

    These feelings come straight to my instinct before I can form words that describes their characters.

    Ok, you won't be able to tell EVERYTHING; but you can still find out enough to decide if you'd like to (A) dance with them again, (B) Have a conversation after the dance, and (C) Become friends with them, or (D) None of the above :p !

    Having said that, one of my all-time favourite lead is an utterly obnoxcious person. But in a REALLY strange way, we connect (only on the dance floor, as he is too cool to really have a conversation with :shock: ) & I feel completely comfortable/challenging dancing with him.
  11. Vin

    Vin New Member

    SalsaChinita, I can completely relate. There is a "friend" of mine and at times it seems like we tolerate each other in order to dance together. There is hope though since lately I have found a new favorite dance partner whom I get along with better. So keep searching.
    The really funny thing with my "friend" is that the things I find unappealing in her character seem related to the things that hold us back from really having that memorable experience dancing.
  12. xstasy

    xstasy New Member


    Brujo- that says it all....if you dance a rehearsed boring "same eyes, same fake smile, blah..." routine then perhaps your personality is fake & blah....hmmm? Isn't this possible as well?
  13. will35

    will35 New Member

    xstasy wrote, "Brujo- that says it all....if you dance a rehearsed boring "same eyes, same fake smile, blah..." routine then perhaps your personality is fake & blah....hmmm? Isn't this possible as well?"

    Maybe, but let's not go too far. Was Vincent Price a murderous slasher type in real life? Of course not. Marlon Brando complained after playing Stanley Kowalski that it was tough to convince people that he didn't eat off the floor. Sometimes a person's dance (art) just fits the person perfectly and says everything about that person. Sometimes, a person's dance is just a little tiny part of that person that a certain music and a certain atmosphere brings out. We all know the stories about the shy dancers that bring themselves out of their shells with dance. Perhaps it could be the other way round, too. Probably your BB is just an knat. But we cannot say that definately without knowing more of him than how he dances to a particular music.
  14. redhead

    redhead New Member

    You definitely can learn a lot about a person dancing with him/her. I don't think every aspect of their personality will show, but attitude, level of self-confidence and sense of humor will.
  15. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i submit that it is possible to learn a lot of things about people by watching how they interact with others on or off a dance floor. but a large part of that is having a clear understanding of what it is you hope to learn and then knowing what to look for.
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi tsb! welcome to the forums. :D
  17. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    to expand on that, the preference of art form can also reflect a person's temperment - even though each individual's choice can be made for different reasons.

    as most of the posters on this topic seem to be speaking from a salsa viewpoint, i will comment that most salsa dancers i know, and 'club' dancers (salsa, west coast, C/W, argentine tango) in general don't seem to be interested in dancing other dances. i think that suggests something although i'm not sure what "that" might be...

    but going back to the original thought, i personally dance ballroom, swing, salsa, argentine tango, WCS, as well various forms of folks and vintage dance. within each form, i've had a number of followers tell me that they can read a lot about a guy in how they dance. and i have found that the followers i have enjoyed dancing with the most are usually someone whose company i would enjoy on a long car ride. i submit that this reflects their temperment and character (and to a large extent, their sense of humor).
  18. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    thanks. if you're anywhere near my part of the world, you are either up very early or very late! :)
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey tsb. I'm like you -- a dance generalist. At least, that's what I aspire to be.

    And I think you make a good point. Dancing is like conversation, and at least for me, a long car ride is one place where good conversation is essential. The same personality characteristics are needed.
  20. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    this is a subject near & dear to my heart. i'm going back to school getting into a marriage/family therapy program & i want to use my dance background to help people explore their relational dynamics.

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